8 March 2019 - Kerry Go back to News
Female engineers in Irish Water want to inspire girls and young women to choose a career in engineering this International Women’s Day
Only 13% of engineering graduates in 2017/2018 in Ireland were women
Female engineers in Irish Water want to inspire girls and young women to consider a career in engineering this International Women’s Day. International Women’s Day falls during Engineers Week this year and with an Engineers Ireland report highlighting that only 13% of engineering graduates in 2017/2018 in Ireland were women, we are delighted to be celebrating our female engineers and promoting engineering as a career choice for girls during the week.
50% of our Senior Management Team is female
Katherine M. Walshe is Head of Asset Operations in Irish Water, a member of Irish Water’s Senior Management Team and a UCC Civil Engineering graduate. Katherine’s varied career includes water, roads, housing and environment related works, as well as organisational development and enterprise. She was also the first female engineer in Kerry County Council. Katherine Walshe says “In Irish Water we are committed to gender equality - 50% of our Senior Management Team is female - which is why we want to inspire girls and young women to explore engineering career paths particularly within the Water sector.”
Throughout Engineers Week, Irish Water is showcasing a selection of its female engineers who are at various stages of their careers and who are working in different engineering roles. Female engineers will also be increasing the visibility of female engineers and promoting engineering as a career for girls during its annual Engineers Week programme of school visits, site tours and career talks.
Kate Gannon, Corporate Affairs Manager in Irish Water, has been an engineer for 17 years. Kate Gannon says “Many girls and young women simply may not know a woman who works in an engineering, science or technical field, so they are less likely to consider these career options. I think if girls see more women working and leading in STEM industries, they can picture themselves in these types of roles.”
Miriam Grant, a Water Resources Planner who graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering from UCD in 2013, says “Subjects like technical drawing or even applied mathematics weren’t offered in my all-girls secondary school. This can leave you at a disadvantage going into college and put you off choosing engineering. I am glad that I persevered; the women I have met and worked with since beginning my career have been an inspiration and are some of the best engineers I have worked with. It is fantastic that here in Irish Water, we have women in prominent leadership positions.”
Every day brings a new challenge
All of the women profiled want to highlight the varied and exciting nature of a career in engineering. Angela Ryan, a Water Supply and Resources Strategy Specialist with over 20 years’ experience, says “Every day brings a new challenge, every day is busy and I haven’t had a ‘boring’ day in the last twenty years.”
We are delighted to be promoting Engineers Week again this year and staff across the country are visiting schools, hosting site tours and speaking about their careers in the water industry and highlighting the size and scale of the work in safeguarding Ireland’s water for the future.
More information on all our events during Engineers Week 2019
For more information on all our events throughout the country as part of Engineers Week, please visit our Engineers Week page.
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